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[Abortion] Catholic Church: wait, noone was supposed to actually use that exception

KistraKistra Registered User regular
edited May 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
In late 2009 a 27 year old woman was rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ. She was 11 weeks pregnant and had right sided heart failure. The only treatment for her condition is abortion. She was extremely sick, too sick to risk moving to a different hospital or even into a real operating room. After an emergency meeting of the ethics panel it was recommended to allow the ER docs to go ahead and perform an abortion to save her life.

Last week the Phoenix archdiocese excommunicated the nun that signed off on allowing the abortion.

The ethics panel based it's decision off of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care
Services :
47. Operations, treatments, and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a
proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they
cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viable, even if they will result in the death of
the unborn child.

So... is the catholic church basically saying that their exception for the life of the mother clause is just for show? That they didn't really mean for women to be allowed to get an abortion when they are dying?

Does this imply that next time a women comes into a catholic ER in a similar situation the doctors are expected to just let her die? Should we change how ambulances are routed to ERs? Should patients be allowed to request to not be taken to a catholic hospital?

Links:
NPR story
Statement from the Pheonix archdiocese
Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services

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    DragonPupDragonPup Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    As an aside, no Catholic priest has been excommunicated for raping children. Food for thought.

    Also, this is another reason I am thankful of seperation of Church and State.

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    SpacemilkSpacemilk Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I'm not defending this, I'm just going to try to explain, as I recall it from my Catholic apologetics classes:

    In the eyes of the Catholic Church: It is one thing to perform an abortion as a medical procedure where the RESULT is an abortion in order to then go on and try to cure the problem. It is something else to perform a medical procedure that tries to cure the problem and the SIDE EFFECT of the procedure happens to maybe cause an abortion... I hope that makes sense. I believe it's called the principle of double effect and you might want to wiki it for a better explanation.

    So that's the actual interpretation of the bit of ethics you quoted; it would've been one thing if they gave her meds as a cure and oh whoops, caused an abortion - that's ok. It's another thing entirely if the CURE ITSELF is to have an abortion - that's not ok. The situation was the latter and apparently that's what the nun signed off on.

    tl;dr: Whether or not you think it's fucked up, the Catholic Church did actually stick with its rules and exceptions.

    Spacemilk on
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    DragonPupDragonPup Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Spacemilk wrote: »
    tl;dr: Whether or not you think it's fucked up, the Catholic Church did actually stick with its rules and exceptions.

    Directive 47 has the exception for abortion; life and death of the mother.

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    AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    DragonPup wrote: »
    Spacemilk wrote: »
    tl;dr: Whether or not you think it's fucked up, the Catholic Church did actually stick with its rules and exceptions.

    Directive 47 has the exception for abortion; life and death of the mother.

    No, it doesn't. Also look at 45:
    45. Abortion (that is, the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permitted. Every procedure whose sole immediate effect is the termination of pregnancy before viability is an abortion, which, in its moral context, includes the interval between conception and implantation of the embryo. Catholic health care institutions are not to provide abortion services, even based upon the principle of material cooperation. In this context, Catholic health care institutions need to be concerned about the danger of scandal in any association with abortion providers.

    Also, even in the NPR article:
    "There was no good way out of it. The official church position would mandate that the correct solution would be to let both the mother and the child die. I think in the practical situation that would be a very hard choice to make."

    If you are going to die, and the cure will also casue an abortion, that's okay. If you are going to die and the cure is abortion, not okay.

    The nun was pushing the boundries by giving an exception under 47. Her bosses dissagreed. It's what spacemilk said: Whether or not you think it's fucked up, the Catholic Church did actually stick with its rules and exceptions.

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    RaburoRaburo Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Imagine if there was no separation of church and state? Take it one step farther and its no separation of family and church. Next thing you know parents and teens are turning each other into the police for participating in unauthorized sexual activities. Imagine how bad gays would have it if being gay was considered a crime against the state. Probably even worse for black people, some groups have in the past said that the dark color of minorities skin is the result of their ancestors sins, and that slavery was okay because blacks were being punished by God.

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    maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I'm catholic, and I'm pro-life.

    But jesus christ if it's life threatening for the mother it's better to only lose one life, not two.

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    SpacemilkSpacemilk Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    DragonPup wrote: »
    Spacemilk wrote: »
    tl;dr: Whether or not you think it's fucked up, the Catholic Church did actually stick with its rules and exceptions.

    Directive 47 has the exception for abortion; life and death of the mother.
    I don't know what "Directive 47" is unless it's the quoted portion of the OP. If there's more to it then you'll need to post it/link it/etc to be more clear.

    And let me requote that and highlight the relevant part:
    47. Operations, treatments, and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a
    proportionately serious pathological condition
    of a pregnant woman are permitted when they
    cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viable, even if they will result in the death of
    the unborn child.
    The direct purpose cannot be an abortion; that's what was "wrong" in this situation. Normally the Catholic Church wouldn't allow the use of meds that may result in an abortion unless the mother's life is in danger; so I think that's the exception you're thinking of.

    I think the problem is that the nun signed off on an abortion, which is not ok, rather than signing off on a medication where the primary purpose of the med would've saved the mother's life but side affect may be an abortion, which is not ok. The Catholic Church sees a distinction here; some may not.

    Here is the wiki article for the basis of this doctrine.

    oooooh ouch beat'd bad

    Spacemilk on
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    LieberkuhnLieberkuhn __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2010
    What happens to a non-Catholic woman who arrives at a Catholic hospital in this condition? Having read through this thread I suddenly feel absolutely terrified that I might one day find myself in this situation. What if I was brought into a Catholic hosptial and told they were going to let me die, even though they could easily save my life by performing a procedure I'm okay with them performing?

    What if I'm unconscious and can't even voice my opinion?

    Holy fucking shitfuck

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    DragonPupDragonPup Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    How I read the directive

    Serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman: The fact that she'd die if she gave birth.

    Semantics of the directive's wording aside, the Catholic Church are being hypocrites. They scream about the sanctity of life, but would rather have 2 people die than 1 unborn child who'd have little chance of even surviving birth.

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    tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    DragonPup wrote: »
    the Catholic Church are being hypocrites.

    And coming up in our 11 o'clock broadcast an in depth look at the frightening trend of wet water, and how you can keep your family safe from this moist menace.

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    ShivahnShivahn Unaware of her barrel shifter privilege Western coastal temptressRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited May 2010
    Holy fucking shitfuck

    When I realize the deep social biases that are probably in all doctors, I kind of get scared.

    Shivahn on
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    HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Aioua wrote: »
    DragonPup wrote: »
    Spacemilk wrote: »
    tl;dr: Whether or not you think it's fucked up, the Catholic Church did actually stick with its rules and exceptions.

    Directive 47 has the exception for abortion; life and death of the mother.

    No, it doesn't. Also look at 45:
    45. Abortion (that is, the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permitted. Every procedure whose sole immediate effect is the termination of pregnancy before viability is an abortion, which, in its moral context, includes the interval between conception and implantation of the embryo. Catholic health care institutions are not to provide abortion services, even based upon the principle of material cooperation. In this context, Catholic health care institutions need to be concerned about the danger of scandal in any association with abortion providers.

    Also, even in the NPR article:
    "There was no good way out of it. The official church position would mandate that the correct solution would be to let both the mother and the child die. I think in the practical situation that would be a very hard choice to make."

    If you are going to die, and the cure will also casue an abortion, that's okay. If you are going to die and the cure is abortion, not okay.

    The nun was pushing the boundries by giving an exception under 47. Her bosses dissagreed. It's what spacemilk said: Whether or not you think it's fucked up, the Catholic Church did actually stick with its rules and exceptions.

    I'm just gonna lime a little something there since you cut off your bolded point a little early.

    Henroid on
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    SniperGuySniperGuy SniperGuyGaming Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I'm catholic, and I'm pro-life.

    But jesus christ if it's life threatening for the mother it's better to only lose one life, not two.

    :^::^:

    SniperGuy on
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    KistraKistra Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    What happens to a non-Catholic woman who arrives at a Catholic hospital in this condition? Having read through this thread I suddenly feel absolutely terrified that I might one day find myself in this situation. What if I was brought into a Catholic hosptial and told they were going to let me die, even though they could easily save my life by performing a procedure I'm okay with them performing?

    What if I'm unconscious and can't even voice my opinion?

    Holy fucking shitfuck

    That was more my point. I could care less what the catholic church's policy is. Until their policy starts directing them to let people die from easily preventable causes of death.

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    JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    It'd be a lot easier to believe in a loving God if he'd up and dropped a meteor on the Vatican a few centuries back.

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    LieberkuhnLieberkuhn __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2010
    Kistra wrote: »
    That was more my point. I could care less what the catholic church's policy is. Until their policy starts directing them to let people die from easily preventable causes of death.

    Worse! Their policy directs them to let people who don't agree with their beliefs die.

    Hell, doing it to a Catholic woman is bad enough, but doing it to a woman who genuinely believes (and belief is absolutely all we have to go on when it comes to God and the afterlife) that her existence is about to be permanently snuffed out by someone who thinks she'll go to heaven? ...Over the life of a child who is guaranteed to die either way?

    That is murder. There is no other word for it.

    If Catholic doctors don't want to perform procedures that go against their beliefs, then they should stop being doctors or change their beliefs. They can't have both.

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    GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Why is the Catholic church allowed to run hospitals again?

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    Cedar BrownCedar Brown Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    GoodOmens wrote: »
    Why is the Catholic church allowed to run hospitals again?

    They saved the woman's life. They are doing their job. They didn't refuse service.

    Cedar Brown on
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    DirtyDirtyVagrantDirtyDirtyVagrant Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I dunno. That's a really good question.

    DirtyDirtyVagrant on
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    LieberkuhnLieberkuhn __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2010
    GoodOmens wrote: »
    Why is the Catholic church allowed to run hospitals again?

    They saved the woman's life. They are doing their job. They didn't refuse service.

    But they got in trouble for doing it, the implication being that if they find themselves in that situation again, they are to let her die.

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    namelessnameless Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Someone will have to explain to me how this rule fits into the "pro-life/culture of life" argumentative framework.

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    Cedar BrownCedar Brown Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    nameless wrote: »
    Someone will have to explain to me how this rule fits into the "pro-life/culture of life" argumentative framework.

    It's not pro-life. It's something else...

    Cedar Brown on
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    LieberkuhnLieberkuhn __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2010
    nameless wrote: »
    Someone will have to explain to me how this rule fits into the "pro-life/culture of life" argumentative framework.

    Some (not all) of the "pro-life" arguments can more accurately be described as "anti-woman". The "abortion is always wrong except in cases of rape" argument is a classic example. This is case another example.

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    RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    GoodOmens wrote: »
    Why is the Catholic church allowed to run hospitals again?

    Are you posting from an alternate universe where they chose to not do the medical procedure to save the woman's life? Just curious.

    Robman on
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    Hockey JohnstonHockey Johnston Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Robman wrote: »
    GoodOmens wrote: »
    Why is the Catholic church allowed to run hospitals again?

    Are you posting from an alternate universe where they chose to not do the medical procedure to save the woman's life? Just curious.

    They fired someone for that procedure.

    Hockey Johnston on
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    Edith_Bagot-DixEdith_Bagot-Dix Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    GoodOmens wrote: »
    Why is the Catholic church allowed to run hospitals again?

    They saved the woman's life. They are doing their job. They didn't refuse service.

    I think this really deserves to be highlighted.

    In spite of the fact that it's a Catholic hospital, there's a difference between the hospital's ethical guidelines for treatment and Catholic moral teaching. The hospital's ethics certainly find part of their basis there, but no modern system of medical ethics is ever going to be 100% compatible with the teachings of the Church. The Bishop who excommunicated this nun doesn't dictate what goes on at the hospital. I'm not saying this to excuse the Bishop's actions, which I find, quite frankly, to be craven, hypocritical and a naked example of political extremism; rather I'd like to recognize that the doctors, administrators and hospital ethicist (the nun) in this case did the right thing regardless of the consequences they may personally face.

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    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    I'm catholic, and I'm pro-life.

    But jesus christ if it's life threatening for the mother it's better to only lose one life, not two.

    :^::^:

    You'd think this kind of common sense would be a little more prevalent in... what are they called?

    Oh yeah, human beings.

    KalTorak on
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    LieberkuhnLieberkuhn __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    I'm catholic, and I'm pro-life.

    But jesus christ if it's life threatening for the mother it's better to only lose one life, not two.

    :^::^:

    You'd think this kind of common sense would be a little more prevalent in... what are they called?

    Oh yeah, human beings.

    You mean those things that sort of look like me?

    Lieberkuhn on
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    SniperGuySniperGuy SniperGuyGaming Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Robman wrote: »
    GoodOmens wrote: »
    Why is the Catholic church allowed to run hospitals again?

    Are you posting from an alternate universe where they chose to not do the medical procedure to save the woman's life? Just curious.

    They fired someone for that procedure.

    Fired someone, or the church excommunicated a nun? Nun not a doctor. And nun, rightfully so, signed off on it.

    SniperGuy on
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    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    I'm catholic, and I'm pro-life.

    But jesus christ if it's life threatening for the mother it's better to only lose one life, not two.

    :^::^:

    You'd think this kind of common sense would be a little more prevalent in... what are they called?

    Oh yeah, human beings.

    You mean those things that sort of look like me?

    Yes, they're very similar yet unquestionably superior to gay people.

    KalTorak on
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    Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    GoodOmens wrote: »
    Why is the Catholic church allowed to run hospitals again?

    Are you posting from an alternate universe where they chose to not do the medical procedure to save the woman's life? Just curious.

    They fired someone for that procedure.

    Fired someone, or the church excommunicated a nun? Nun not a doctor. And nun, rightfully so, signed off on it.

    And I'm sure clergy continue to receive their salaries after being excommunicated.

    Captain Carrot on
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    override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    So what's the catholic church's take on rescuing critical people? If you only have time to save one you're supposed to just say fuck it and let them both die?

    Fucking monsters, I can only hope that in the future no medical professional stops and thinks about their job before deciding whether or not to save their patients life because of this.

    override367 on
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    Cedar BrownCedar Brown Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Effectively, the worst thing that's happened so far is that a nun now believes she is going to hell.

    Cedar Brown on
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    namelessnameless Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Listen, I think it bears mentioning that the system worked, kind of. The nun followed her better judgement, the woman got treatment, and now the nun is excommunicated. Her God, if he exists and is remotely just and loving, will forgive her. Meanwhile, the idealogues in the Vatican can pat each other on the back while they turn a blind eye to an institutional problem with pederasty. Frankly, it's the Catholic Church in a nutshell.

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    LieberkuhnLieberkuhn __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    KalTorak wrote: »
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    I'm catholic, and I'm pro-life.

    But jesus christ if it's life threatening for the mother it's better to only lose one life, not two.

    :^::^:

    You'd think this kind of common sense would be a little more prevalent in... what are they called?

    Oh yeah, human beings.

    You mean those things that sort of look like me?

    Yes, they're very similar yet unquestionably superior to gay people.

    What are you insinuating

    Lieberkuhn on
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    So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Effectively, the worst thing that's happened so far is that a nun now believes she is going to hell.

    Don't pretend this doesn't send a message to Catholic hospitals and the people that work in them.

    So It Goes on
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    Cedar BrownCedar Brown Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    So It Goes wrote: »
    Effectively, the worst thing that's happened so far is that a nun now believes she is going to hell.

    Don't pretend this doesn't send a message to Catholic hospitals and the people that work in them.

    I said "so far."

    Cedar Brown on
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    ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Aioua wrote: »
    DragonPup wrote: »
    Spacemilk wrote: »
    tl;dr: Whether or not you think it's fucked up, the Catholic Church did actually stick with its rules and exceptions.

    Directive 47 has the exception for abortion; life and death of the mother.

    No, it doesn't. Also look at 45:
    45. Abortion (that is, the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permitted. Every procedure whose sole immediate effect is the termination of pregnancy before viability is an abortion, which, in its moral context, includes the interval between conception and implantation of the embryo. Catholic health care institutions are not to provide abortion services, even based upon the principle of material cooperation. In this context, Catholic health care institutions need to be concerned about the danger of scandal in any association with abortion providers.

    Also, even in the NPR article:
    "There was no good way out of it. The official church position would mandate that the correct solution would be to let both the mother and the child die. I think in the practical situation that would be a very hard choice to make."

    If you are going to die, and the cure will also casue an abortion, that's okay. If you are going to die and the cure is abortion, not okay.

    The nun was pushing the boundries by giving an exception under 47. Her bosses dissagreed. It's what spacemilk said: Whether or not you think it's fucked up, the Catholic Church did actually stick with its rules and exceptions.

    I'm reading 47 over and over and I still don't see how this doesn't count.

    Zombiemambo on
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    Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Why are decisions like this left to nuns and what sort of qualifications do these nuns have? What would have happened if the nun hadn't signed off on it?

    Also, is it possible to be un-excommunicated?

    Robos A Go Go on
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    override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Why are decisions like this left to nuns and what sort of qualifications do these nuns have? What would have happened if the nun hadn't signed off on it?

    Also, is it possible to be un-excommunicated?

    You have to defeat the pope in single combat, and he can shapeshift into a dragon so that's difficult

    override367 on
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